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Bill Sommers: Iron Underwear - How Does Someone Turn Around Schools & School Districts?

Episode 66

About Bill Sommers: He is a learner, a teacher, a principal, an author, a leadership coach and a consultant. He’s come out of retirement multiple times to help principals to put theory into practice. He is a former executive director for secondary curriculum in professional learning for Minneapolis public schools and he has been a school administrator for over 35 years. He’s been a senior fellow for the Urban Leadership Academy at the University of Minnesota. Bill also has served as full-time faculty and as an adjunct faculty member at several universities. He has also been a program director for an adolescent chemical dependency treatment center and served on the board of a halfway house for 20 years.


In this episode, Jordan and Bill discuss:

  • What schools should be prioritizing in education

  • Marshall Goldsmith_FeedForward

  • Frank Wagner_The Power of Total Commitment

  • Being a learning omnivore

  • Self-worth and inner-terrorism

Key Takeaways

  • Schools are losing superintendents and principals because politics is driving education

  • Businesses are looking for creativity, collaboration, and working with diversity. Schools today must not only prepare students to pass tests, but to thrive in life. To get there, they’ll need to learn how to care for others and be a good human being.

  • Your role as a leader is to hold people accountable. If you don’t have a soul, people are not going to listen to you, they will not come forward with crucial info in fear of how you’ll react. They will go underground, they will hide.

  • Let your self-worth be stronger than your self-critic. Stop the inner-terrorism, be aware of your thoughts. If you’re doing something to yourself that you wouldn’t put up with if done to a friend, then stop doing it.

“Knowledge is important and insufficient. You can read all the books you want and have knowledge but if you can’t put it into practice and make the world better, I don’t know what the point is.” — Bill Sommers

Get a 20% discount on Bill’s latest book, “Creating Talent Density” by calling 800-462-4620 or and the promo code is RLEGN20

Connect with Bill Sommers:


Jordan Goldrich

Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.

Connect with Jordan Goldrich: 

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